McLaren’s Racing Director Eric Boullier insist that the plan to keep Stoffel Vandoorne on for years to come hasn’t change.
McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team announced ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix that they’ll keep the Belgian driver on for another season.
Vandoorne has been part of the McLaren team since 2013 through the McLaren Young Driver Programme. He made his F1 debut at the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix as a stand in for the injured Fernando Alonso. He finished tenth in the race to score his first F1 point.
The second seat at McLaren remains unconfirmed with question marks still raised though over whether Alonso will remain at the team for 2018.
Boullier on the announcement of Vandoorne will remain at the team said: “When we announced at the end of 2016 that Stoffel would be a McLaren Honda race driver for 2017, we indicated that our plan was that he’d race for us for a number of years.”
“That plan hasn’t changed, and I’m very happy therefore to be able to confirm that he’ll continue to race for us next season”.
Boullier believes that Vandoorne has learned a lot over the course of the season and has the experience team-mate of Alonso to learn from for the rest of the season.
“Like all rookies, he’s had to learn a lot in the first half of his first Formula 1 season, but we have great confidence in him, and he’s getting better and better all the time.”
“His team-mate is a tough opponent – that’s an understatement in fact, because he’s arguably the best driver in the sport today – but Stoffel’s robust talent and fierce ambition make us sure that he’ll achieve great successes with us in the future.”